Hydrangea special pinks will all turn blue?

cat_delgado(6 - Ansonia, CT)February 12, 2010

Okay, so I'm new to gardening and I think I really made a big boo boo with my emerging garden beds and was hoping to get the opions of more experienced gardeners than myself. My house sits on a small lot with garden beds around 3 sides of the house. The front faces ( I think south west? ) anyway it never gets direct sun the front of the house is always in darkness NOT deep dark just not direct light. So here's my dilemma, I bought a lot of specialty hydrangeas to put around the house (rasberry parfait, harlequin, red) and had planned on creating all red and pink beds around them (already bought numerous red and pink shade & partial shade perrenials to fill in the gaps). WELLLL, my next door neighbor gave me a few cuttings of her Nikko Blue's this summer past and when I put them in the ground they were (TADA) bright blue. I recently read that ph will affect certain hydrangeas, so my ultimate question is. Will my specialty hydrangea's turn blue as well or do I need to get different type's to get all pink flowers? AND I placed the Nikko's in front of the house to over winter there until I figured out where to permanently place them, is there a PINK or WHITE blooming hydrangea that can do well in INdirect sunlight that my soil won't make blue and grows 4 or 5 ft high?

thanks so much for the input. Hoping I can salvage my design sighh...

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Yes and no. Harlequin is a Macrophylla that turns blue with white margins in acidic soil. Vanilla Strawberry is a paniculata and paniculata blooms generally tend to start white or some off-white color. VS blooms start creamy whiteish regardless of the soil acidity. As time passes, the color fades to light pink and then a strawberry reddish color. It will not turn blue. Go to hydrangeasplus.com to view many candidates. Observe that Macs with "red" references in their name will grow purple in acidic soils so keep that in mind. Whites will always bloom white but, will turn other colors as the blooms fade. Finally, Invincibelle is another option; it is an Arborescens version of Annabelle that is always pink regardless of soil acidity.

Most hydrangeas will do well with indirect light if the shade is bright indirect light during the growing season. If unsure, you can test the waters by planting one under those conditions and seeing what happens. You can also look around your neighbors yars and see what seems to grow under similar conditions.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 10:07AM
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It depends on your soil pH (a lot of the New England area has rather acidic soil) and on the specific hydrangea cultivar. Some pink flowering forms of H. macrophylla tend to be very resistant to pH and hold their color well but most do not. And even those that are resistant to pH will not maintain the same clear color they had in a more neutral soil but become a bit of muddy mauve or pinky-purple in very acidic soil.

Since your Nikko bloomed a bright blue, that pretty much confirms the soil acidity. You can decrease the acidity by applying lime to the bed. White flowered macs will always bloom white and all paniculatas bloom white (or greenish-white) but will age to various pink tones. Or you can try the new 'Invincibelle Spirit' that Luis mentions.

Can ask where you found the 'Raspberry Parfait'?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 12:47PM
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I saw it advertised in a Michigan Nursery back in December but, now I cannot remember which one it was.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 2:39PM
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Might it have been Michigan Bulb? To my knowledge, this is the only "nursery" that sells this variety, which is NOT a registered cultivar of hydrangea. IOW, they made up the name and assigned it to another variety of hydrangea (I suspect to avoid patenting regulations). You should also know that Michigan Bulb has one of the worst reputations of any mail order plant source - inaccurate or made up plant names, puny, half-dead plants and appalling customer service. Look at the vendor review forum here on GW or check Garden Watchdog.

Look for Hydrangea macrophylla 'Buttons and Bows' - that is the closest legitimate hydrangea cultivar with the pink bicoloring. And it holds its pink color very well.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hydrangea 'Buttons and Bows'

    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 7:20PM
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